Stellar Photo Recovery Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Alternatives

Can Stellar Photo Recovery restore your deleted photos? How? What do users say? Read on to find out.

Part 1. What Does Stellar Photo Recovery Do?

Your photos, videos, and music files are, for better or worse, always a few clicks away from being accidentally deleted entirely—not to mention damaged or corrupted through power loss or physical damage to the container. That's where Stellar Photo Recovery comes in: it's a powerful data recovery tool specializing in media files. It works well with all sorts of storage drives, photography cameras, and video recorders.

stellar photo recovery standard interface

Stellar Photo Recovery conducts a deep scan of your chosen disk or device and lets you preview to decide which deleted or damaged photos, videos, and audio files to recover.

Stellar Photo Recovery Overview
Developer: Stellar Information Technology Pvt. Ltd.
Latest version:
Latest release: September 2022
Supported operating systems: Windows 11, 10, 8, 7; also available for Mac
Minimum system requirements: Intel processor (x64 or x86)
4GB minimum memory (8GB recommended)
250MB free space for installation
Pricing: $69.99 for a Standard license
$99.99 for a Professional license
$179.99 for a Premium license
Free Trial Recover 1GB of files for free

Part 2. What Are the Key Features of Stellar Photo Recovery?

1. Compatible With a Wide Range of Devices

Stellar Photo Recovery supports an impressively long list of cameras and storage devices, including Canon®, Nikon®, Sony®, Gopro®, Garmin®, Phantom®, hard disk drives, SSDs, flash drives, SD cards, smartphones, and even CDs and DVDs. On the user’s side, it works on both Windows and Macintosh devices.

stellar photo recovery supported cameras

2. Capable of Handling Any File Format

While Stellar Photo Recovery readily supports all standard photo, video, and audio formats such as RAW photos, JPEGs, TIFFs, PNGs, MP4s, MKV files, and more, it actually allows the user to add the file type they're looking for in the scan. You can edit existing file types to fit your exact needs or add new formats to the list of file formats that Stellar Photo Recovery will detect and offer to recover during scans.

3. Able to Repair Damaged or Corrupted Files

While deleted files can often be wholly restored, overwritten files and files lost due to electrical or physical damage to the container have to repair after they are recovered. The Professional and Premium editions of Stellar Photo Recovery stand out from most data recovery software because they can repair and restore recovered data as healthy files rather than broken and corrupted fragments.

4. Preview of Scan Results Before Saving

Data recovery scans often return immensely long lists of unwanted files and folders from before that would take a lot of storage space if recovered. Stellar Photo Recovery provides different view options and filters, as well as a fast and powerful preview option. This lets you choose and retrieve only the files you want and not have to manually go through heaps of unwanted files only to delete them all later and keep your intended files.

stellar photo recovery scan results

Part 3. How Do I Use Stellar Photo Recovery to Get My Photos Back?

Restoring lost media files using Stellar Photo Recovery is a simple and convenient process. Just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Open Stellar Photo Recovery and Select the File Type(s) You’d Like to Recover.

You can have the software scan for images, videos, and audio files; of course, you can scan for all file types. Click 'Next.'

selecting the type of files to recover

Step 2. Select the Location You’d Like to Scan.

You can scan hard drives, flash drives, DVDs, connected camera devices, smartphones, and many other devices. If you wish to scan an external device like a smartphone or camera, ensure it's firmly attached to your computer.

select drive to scan in stellar photo recovery

Step 3. Start Scanning for Lost Files by Clicking ‘Scan’.

Stellar Photo Recovery will start the scanning process. Wait for the scan to finish.

stellar photo recovery starts scanning

Step 4. Select the Files You’d Like to Recover Using the Different View Options and Preview.

stellar photo recovery view options

If the files you’re looking for were accidentally deleted, the ‘Deleted List' view option would help you find them quickly. The ‘Tree View’ is useful if you’re looking for files in a specific path, and ‘File Type' will let you search for specific file types. Finally, select the files and folders you'd like to restore.

Step 5. Click ‘Recover’ and Choose Where You’d Like the Recovered Files to Be Saved.

After a few moments, your selected files will be available at your chosen destination.

recover files in stellar photo recovery software

Part 4. How Is the Performance and Efficiency of Stellar Photo Recovery Software?

In his review of Stellar Photo Recovery, Thomas Boldt gives the application 3.3 out of 5. He tested Stellar Photo Recovery in three different file loss scenarios: a memory card with overwritten files, a USB flash drive with a deleted folder, and a deleted folder on an internal hard drive.

To Boldt’s disappointment, Stellar Photo Recovery was only able to recover deleted files from an internal hard drive in the third scenario. This function is commonly referred to as 'undelete', and is considered a very basic form of recovery. It certainly has its usage, but it can be done using cmd.exe on windows or Terminal on macOS, as well as through many free applications.

The photos restored by Stellar Photo Recovery from the overwritten memory card and the deleted USB drive couldn’t be opened by Photoshop or Windows Photo Viewer. Boldt recommends you try recovering your files using free software before paying such a high price for Stellar Photo Recovery.

Ben Andrews gives a favorable review of Stellar Photo Recovery but notes that it cannot recover filenames along with files, so all your photos will have sequential numbers as their names.

Jon L. Jacobi notes that while the “pricey” Stellar Photo Recovery can recover deleted files from the SDHC card in his Canon digital camera, it doesn’t do anything that the free, open-source PhotoRec won't do. For example, it can't recover the proprietary file headers written by his camera on .mov files (QuickTime videos), without which the videos are unplayable. He also gives Stellar Photo Recovery 3 out of 5 and recommends using free software instead.

How Much Does Stellar Photo Recovery Cost?

License Type
Recovers images, videos, and audio files ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Supports all storage devices & media ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Supports all common camera models ✔︎ ✔︎ ✔︎
Repairs corrupted images ✔︎ ✔︎
Extracts thumbnails from highly damaged images ✔︎ ✔︎
Repairs corrupted video files ✔︎
Repairs multiple video files in one queue ✔︎
Supports a variety of file formats ✔︎
Price $69.99 $99.99 $179.99

Stellar Photo Recovery is quite an expensive application considering its mediocre level of efficiency, and unless you're paying for Premium, its restricted features.

PhotoRec, a completely free, open-source media recovery software, has all the functionality of the Premium version of Stellar Photo Recovery (minus, perhaps, the simple graphic user interface) and actually outperforms Stellar in most cases, according to both critics and users.

Wondershare Recoverit, starting at $59.99, ten dollars lower than the starting price for Stellar Photo Recovery, provides the functionality of the Premium version of Stellar, as well as support for a much larger variety of file types (over 1000). Moreover, Recoverit owns patented video recovery technology, distinguishing it from its rivals.

Part 5. Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Pros and Cons


Effortless Recuperation in 3 Steps procedure to recover data that was previously lost

User-friendly interface and an environment that is simple to explore

The free version allows for the recovery of up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of lost data

You are given the option to select a specific folder for the scan

Excellent capacity to deal with hard disks that have been damaged

Functionalities for comprehensive disk examination as well as cloning

Supports all common & uncommon file types

There are many variants from which to pick

Supports numerous gadgets


Pricing schemes that are dependent on subscriptions

There are several issues with the preview feature

The slowest mode of scanning is the deepest

There are occasions when the outcomes of the data recovery are inaccurate

Part 6. Alternatives to Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery

Stellar Photo Recovery is an excellent tool, but it has a few drawbacks. Have you tried it, only to discover that it does not fulfill everything you require? If this is the case, read this post to learn about additional photo and video recovery solutions that, like Stellar Data Recovery, may assist you in retrieving any media files that you may have lost.

Wondershare Recoverit – Top 1 Alternative to Stellar Photo Recovery

Recoverit Photo Recovery is a robust data retrieval technology for Windows and Mac that is also very simple to use. It can retrieve photos, videos, and audio files that are deleted or lost from your personal computers, digital cameras, SD cards, TF cards, USB drives, external drives, iPods, MP3/MP4 players, and other types of storage devices.

Wondershare Recoverit - Expert in Photo and Video Recovery

5,481,435 people have downloaded it.

Helps you with photo, video, audio, documents, and other 1000+ file types from 500+ loss scenarios, including accidental deletion, formatting, disk damage, virus attack, etc.

Besides all popular photo & video formats, such as JPG, PNG, TIFF, MP4, AVI, MOV, M4V, M4A, etc., corrupted Ultra HD, 4K, and 8K movies are scanned, gathered, and matched, ensuring your videos are recovered completely.

Recover not just media files. Recoverit can even create bootable media to assist you in getting data back from a computer stuck in the blue or black screen of death.

Offers preview before recovery. No payment is required if the files are unrecoverable.

How To Use Recoverit to Recover Your Precious Photos and Videos

The three straightforward procedures that follow are selecting a device, performing a scan, and retrieving the data. Downloading Recoverit into your computer (PC or Mac) and starting the software when installed should be the first item on your to-do list.

Step 1: Select the Device That Stores Media Files.

Launch Recoverit after installation. Select whether you want to restore your photographs from an internal or external disk. After that, you need to start scanning by pressing the "Start" button.

select the drive to scan for lost files

Step 2: Scan Your Files.

It takes a while to scan for photographs and videos that may have been lost or destroyed. Still, after the program locates the missing data, you are able to preview the files without causing the scanning process to be interrupted.

select the files to recover from the result page

Step 3: Preview and Recover.

After examining the photos or videos, you'll be able to choose the one you want to bring back by clicking the "Recover" button, and the files will be brought back to the place you specified.

preview the files to restore the correct file
Free Download

For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

Free Download

For macOS X 10.10 or later

Step 4: Enhanced Recovery.

Unlike documents, a video typically has a larger file size. Thus, the video data is probably not written closely enough physically on the memory card module, camera card, or hard drive. Experts call those individual pieces of data as video fragments.

When the video is stored in video fragments, the recovered video by standard data recovery is also fragmented and thus unplayable. With patented technology, the Enhanced Recovery of Recoverit fixed this problem. It automatically scans, collects, and matches the video fragments, allowing you to recover full videos without corruption.

After learning the basic knowledge of video recovery, let's continue with the recovery process. Select "Enhanced Recovery" in the left panel and choose the video format you want to retrieve.

enhanced video recovery

Step 5: Recover Video Files.

You may need to wait a while since the Deep Scan will take longer to combine and splice the video fragments. The recoverable video files will be shown in the software, and you can preview them. Finally, select the ones you want to save and click the "Recover" button.

recover deleted videos
Free Download

For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

Free Download

For macOS X 10.10 or later

After a "blue screen of death" occurs, it is possible to retrieve lost data with the help of the Recoverit data recovery software by creating a bootable USB drive.

Free Download

For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

Free Download

For macOS X 10.10 or later

Stellar Photo Recovery vs. Wondershare Recoverit

Stellar Photo Recovery
Wondershare Recoverit
Platforms Supported ·   Windows 11, 10, 8, 7
·   macOS 10.11 – macOS 12
·   Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista
·   Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019
·   macOS 10.10 – macOS 13
Support Email, Online Guide and FAQs, Live Chat Email, Online Guide and FAQs, Live Chat
Pricing Start at $69.99 Start at $59.99
Offerings Free/Freemium Version Free Trial, Free/Freemium Version
Free recovery Up to 1GB Up to 100MB
Supported file types 400+ 1000+
BitLocker-encrypted drive scan
M1/T2 Chip scan
Convenient source selection on start
Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
Disk images scan
RAID scan
Ext2/3/4 partitions scan
NAS scan
Linux scan
Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
Crashed computer recovery
Update frequently

PhotoRec - The Free and Open-Source Alternative to Stellar Photo Recovery

PhotoRec is a photo recovery instrument that allows you to obtain lost images from a wide variety of electronic gadgets, including personal computers, digital cameras, mobile phones, tablet devices, storage devices, external hard drives, CDs, and more.

PhotoRec can recover photos from digital devices such as these and more. This tool can also rescue images damaged by viruses or other computer problems, making it suitable for usage in situations when there has been an outbreak of either.

stellar photo recovery free alternative photorec

PhotoRec Overview

Supported OS ·   DOS/Windows 9x
·   Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003
·   Linux
·   FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD
·   Sun Solaris
·   Mac OS X
Supported files systems FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystem, and HFS+.
Supported Storage Media ·   Canon EOS 10D, 60D, 80D, 300D
·   Casio Exilim EX-Z 750
·   Fujifilm X-T10
·   HP PhotoSmart 620, 850, 935
·   Nikon CoolPix 775, 950, 5700
·   Olympus C350N, C860L, Mju 400 Digital, Stylus 300
·   Sony Alpha DSLR, DSC-P9, NEX-6
·   Pentax K20D
·   Praktica DCZ-3.4
Known file formats PhotoRec recognizes and recovers numerous file formats, including ZIP, Office, PDF, HTML, JPEG, and various graphics file formats
Easy to use Decent
Intuitive interface No
License Free and open source

Stellar Photo Recovery vs. PhotoRec

Stellar Photo Recovery
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, Linux
Support Email, Online Guide and FAQs, Live Chat Online Guide and FAQs, Community
Pricing $49.99 per year Free
Offerings Free/Freemium Version Free
Ext2/3/4 partition scan
BitLocker-encrypted drive scan
M1/T2 Chip scan
Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
Convenient source selection on start
Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
NAS scan
Linux scan
Disk images scan
RAID scan
Crashed computer recovery
Update frequently

Part 7. Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery FAQs

Not completely free, but it has a free version that supports max. 1 GB free data recovery. The price for the premium version starts at $69.99.

It is absolutely safe to use.


The price for Stellar photo recovery premium starts at $69.99 per year.

Stellar Photo Recovery does its job, but not much better than the majority of its rivals.

Final Verdict: Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Worth It?

When it comes to recovering photos, the Stellar Photo Recovery Software is something we hope we never have to use, but it does an outstanding job when we do. The program successfully recovered photographs that had been wiped from memory cards during testing, which is precisely what it is intended to achieve. In addition to that, it is quite simple to use. The program is not the fastest, but if you are able to retrieve priceless memories that you had believed were gone forever, what is a few minutes compared to that?